We have a session on our Quest for Life programs that addresses the symptoms of burnout and what helps. It seems clear to me that most of us know exactly what stresses us out and also what helps.
So the question is… if we know what keeps us fluffy, feeling well, firing on all fours, vital, energetic, peaceful, happy or whatever then why don’t we do the things we KNOW help? Why do we peddle backwards and away from peace?
This is a question I have often asked myself. I absolutely know that the following activities keep me in good shape physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally:
- Meditation every day
- Exercise every day
- Face to face contact with friends regularly
- Hugs as often as I can get them
- Great food – no refined carbohydrates or chemically altered food
- Productive work
- A clean and harmonious home
- Holidays & days off
So do you think I do all these? Nope. How about you? Does this resonate with you too? I do not think I am alone.
OBVIOUS FACT: if I do not care for myself then I do not care for myself. Read that again carefully and slowly… I do not care for myself. But why do I not care for myself? That is the question.
I am a slow learner but I have finally worked out the bleeding obvious and there is only one clear answer. If I do not care for myself then I must believe I am not worth caring for. I do not love myself. Now that feels familiar.
Up until recently, I have not loved myself enough to act in self-caring ways. In fact I have often felt the opposite. I have not even liked myself at times. I have believed and said very hateful and hard things to myself like… “I’m too fat, I’m weak, I’m not good enough, I’m lazy, I’m hopeless, I don’t deserve good things, I’ve failed etc. etc. etc…”
Sound familiar? Would these beliefs motivate anyone to care for themselves? The reality is that I feel worse and worse and worse on days when these beliefs are at the forefront of my mind.
So how about you? What are the unkind things you say to yourself? Do you feel love for yourself when you are thinking this way?
You see, we can have all the education and awareness in the universe about what’s good for us, but unless we love ourselves enough to feel deserving, we will NOT PARTAKE of the fluffy goodness that we know works.
There are lots of reasons why we do not feel self-love. From a simple psychological viewpoint, we probably had experiences where we did not feel loved and so we formed beliefs that got us to where we are today.
It can be valuable engage in therapy as a way of coming back to self-love. I have engaged in lots of my own therapy and I have helped many psychotherapy clients and students to feel self-love. You might even want to have some sessions with one of our Quest for Life counsellors. Counselling can be amazing and we are all unique so I highly recommend you find the way that works for you.
So, what if our number one priority was to be in love profoundly, deeply, passionately and adoringly with ourselves? Challenging huh? I think we would then naturally want to have that massage, ring that friend, have that bath, pick that flower, pat that puppy or look into our own eyes and say “I love you” and feel good about who we see looking back.
And we may then act accordingly. Plus we might have more energy to love others. It’s hard to love when you do not feel loved. And others might love us more too.
So start with YOU. I have started and it is my daily practice to notice the old beliefs and thoughts and counteract them with love. I am winning and I know lots of you are too! I had a massage on Friday and I am meditating most days. I must love myself very much… I want to care for me and I encourage you to join me in my ongoing quest for self-love.
I wish you lots of falling deeply and completely in love with you.
Margie is a somatic psychotherapist and counsellor providing psychotherapy services to the people of the Central Coast and Sydney. Margie lives on the beautiful Central Coast with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat.
Over the last 12 years, Margie has also been engaged in the design, delivery and marketing of transformational learning programs. During this time she has regularly facilitated personal development programs for up to 50 people on weekend workshops, week-long intensives and advanced programs of 3-4 months.
Margie has a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from UTS, Diploma in Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy and qualifications in somatic therapy, executive coaching and relationship counselling.
Margie has a passion for personal development and regards people with respect, empathy and compassion in the belief that while we all do the best we can, a little bit more kindness and care can lead to even greater peace and joy in life.